Job Summary

Ensuring all laboratory activities related to the EBOVAC1 programme are performed in strict accordance to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP)

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 8 years

Job Description

Department: Clinical Research

Faculty: Infectious and Tropical Diseases

Location: Kambia district, Sierra Leone, with occasional travel to Freetown


EBOVAC Project

The Ebola vaccine projects – EBOVAC1, EBOVAC2 and EBODAC – are a series of trials and associated projects which aim to assess a novel prime-boost preventive vaccine regimen against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). In a prime-boost vaccine regimen, individuals are first given a dose to prime the immune system, and then a boost dose, which is intended to enhance the immune response and increase the duration of the response. The vaccine has been developed by Janssen Vaccines and Prevention B.V. and the trial is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI, a partnership between the EU and the European pharmaceutical industry).

Between them the EBOVAC1 and EBOVAC2 projects will assess – through several clinical trials conducted in phases in Europe and Africa – the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine regimen in response to the urgent public health need raised by the Ebola epidemic.

This Laboratory Manager position will form part of the EBOVAC1/3 projects and it will be based in Kambia district, Sierra Leone. More information about the project can be found at http://www.ebovac.org/.



Main Duties:

Key responsibilities include:

  1. supporting the Laboratory Director in the management of all laboratory activities 
  2. managing LSHTM laboratory staff and locally-employed laboratory personnel
  3. ensuring all laboratory activities related to the EBOVAC1 programme are performed in strict accordance to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP)
  4. ensuring that the laboratory maintains a robust training programme
  5. being the local focal laboratory contact for trial sponsors, in-country partners and senior LSHTM management
  6. organising and facilitating laboratory meetings and attending EBOVAC1/3 and related meetings 
  7. assisting with communications, including production of laboratory update reports. 


Main Duties will include:

  • Supervision of all aspects of EBOVAC1/3 laboratory work on a day-to-day basis.
  • Providing leadership, line management, technical support and supervision of all laboratory staff (currently two lab scientists and eight lab technicians).
  • Providing technical assistance to EBOVAC1/3 studies in Sierra Leone in relation to laboratory issues.
  • Responsibility for all laboratory protocols, documentation and practicalities to ensure that clinical trials are carried out to the highest international standards (GCLP).
  • Maintaining a robust equipment management system, ensuring all instruments have active service agreements in place, to ensure optimum performance and limit downtime. 
  • Liaising with local and overseas suppliers and LSHTM project procurement staff to manage stocks and supplies to ensure all laboratory systems operate without stock outs.
  • Overseeing sample inventories and manage the shipment of specimens regionally and overseas according to IATA regulations and sponsor-specific requirements.
  • Ensuring that laboratory Health & Safety practices are maintained to internationally recognised standards.
  • Production of reports relating to the operation of the laboratory for trial sponsor and LSHTM senior staff. Presentation of complex information to non-specialists. Responsiblity for passing information on promptly to internal and external stakeholders to ensure the smooth running of the trial.
  • Chairing regular lab team meetings to motivate team members and ensure uniformity of procedures.
  • Member of the site management committee, along with the trial manager, the operations manager and the finance manager.
  • Training and induction of lab staff on topics such as GCLP, implementation of new SOPs and compliance with sponsor requirements.


PERSON SPECIFICATION

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA:

  • Higher degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • Significant experience of managing an accredited clinical diagnostic laboratory that undertakes clinical trials.
  • Practical experience and detailed understanding of implementing regulatory procedures and documentation relating to clinical trials, including responding to trial audits and monitoring visits.
  • Experience of promoting excellence in areas of laboratory administration and the provision of support services, including the setting of service standards and monitoring of performance.
  • Advising on laboratory matters at a senior level.
  • Experience of planning laboratory activities for new projects, including budgets, staffing, infrastructure, facilities and equipment. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong organisational skills with the ability to prioritise and delegate effectively.
  • Relevant experience in resource-poor countries. 
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and motivate a multicultural team.
  • Introducing policies, procedures, processes and systems effectively.
  • Sympathetic, approachable manner but strong and directional and able to exercise discretion in handling confidential matters.
  • Collaborative and flexible approach and ability to work well and effectively with all colleagues.
  • Commitment to the School’s policy of equal opportunities and the ability to work harmoniously with colleagues of all cultures and background.
  • Excellent IT skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office, and proven experience of using databases and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) management.
  • Knowledge and experience of implementing, operating and maintaining Quality Assurance & Quality Control systems including; Internal Quality Control (IQC) and External Quality Assurance (EQA) schemes.

DESIRABLE CRITERIA

  • Ability to evaluate and validate new laboratory assays and instrumentation as required.


SALARY AND CONDITIONS OF APPOINTMENT

This full-time post is based in Kambia district, Sierra Leone with occasional travel to Freetown. The post is funded until 31st December 2020. The appointment will be made on the School’s Professional Support Pathway Grade 6 in the range £39,304 - £44,634 per annum. The post will be subject to the LSHTM terms and conditions of service.  Annual leave entitlement is 30 working days per year, pro rata for part time staff. In addition to this there are discretionary “Director’s Days”. Membership of the Pension Scheme is available.


GENERAL INFORMATION

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Our mission is to is to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide; working in partnership to achieve excellence in public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice. 

Founded in 1899, the School has expanded in recent years at its two main sites on Keppel Street and Tavistock Place. Our staff, students and alumni work in more than 150 countries in government, academia, international agencies and health services. Research income has grown to more than £110 million per year from national and international funding sources including UK government and research councils, the European Union, the Wellcome Trust, Gates Foundation and other philanthropic sources. The School’s multidisciplinary expertise includes clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, social scientists, molecular biologists and immunologists, and we work with partners worldwide to support the development of teaching and research capacity. 

Our education provision has expanded to more than 1,000 London-based Master's and Research students, 3,000 studying postgraduate courses by distance learning, and 1,000 each year on short courses and continuous professional development. Our free online courses (Moocs) are studied by more than 30,000 participants globally. 

The School performs well in various global university league tables. In the US News Best Global Universities Ranking 2017, we are ranked sixth in the world (together with Oxford University) in the fields of social sciences and public health. In the 2016 CWTS Leiden Ranking, the School was ranked fifth in the world for research impact across all disciplines, based on the share of institutions’ outputs within the top 1% of papers by citation in all areas of science and independent of size of output. 

The School was named University of the Year 2016 by Times Higher Education, in recognition of our response to the Ebola epidemic. The School is a member of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies, the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. 


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases 

The Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases encompasses all of the laboratory-based research in the School as well as that on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases.  It is headed by Brendan Wren, who is Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis.  The range of disciplines represented in the faculty is very broad and inter-disciplinary research is a feature of much of our activity.  The spectrum of diseases studied is wide and there are major research groups with a focus on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine development and evaluation, and vector biology and disease control.  The Faculty is organised into four large research departments comprising: Pathogen Molecular Biology, Immunology and Infection, Disease Control, and Clinical Research.  There is close interaction between scientists in different research teams. The Faculty has strong overseas links, which provide a basis for field studies and international collaborations in developed and developing countries.  The teaching programme includes MSc courses, taught in-house and by distance learning, which are modular in structure, a variety of short-courses and an active doctoral programme (PhD and DrPH).  For further information on the Faculty see: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/itd/index.html.

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